Best Shoes For Surgery Rotation: Our Top Picks And Buying Guide

Congrats on getting into medical school. However, you’re not going to learn how to take care of patients by just reading books and taking tests. You need to be taken into the operating room and be shown in person what goes on.

This what surgery rotation is for. You will be assigned a supervising resident who will most likely assign you a few patients to follow. You may also be allowed to stand in on a few surgeries to see how it’s done. You may find that you go from studying fourteen hours a day to standing for fourteen hours a day.

You may want to wear flats with an insole. You can wear comfortable tennis shoes, provided you aren’t standing where some blood or other fluids might get squirted or handling babies that haven’t figured out bladder control yet. Otherwise, you may want to try closed toe clogs.

best shoes for surgery rotation

What Kind Of Shoes Should You Wear For Surgery Rotation?

You need to get shoes that are comfortable and easy to clean off preferably can be washed. They should also be lightweight, breathable, and offer support since you will be standing for long hours on your feet.

Most importantly they should be protective to protect you against the hazards associated with the surgery room like blood and body fluids that might be spilled on the floor. For that reason, sandals, shoes made of soft materials, and open toe and open heel shoes should not be worn in the surgery department. It is recommended that the footwear have low heels.

Our Picks:

Here is a list of the five shoes that we believe will help ease your surgery rotation. Comparison shop to find out which one is best for you.

1. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe

Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe,Gunsmoke,10.5 M US

With twenty-seven different colorways, you are sure to find a Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe that suits your tastes. A lot of people like it for outdoor activities but it can work for an indoor environment where surface conditions are unpredictable. This shoe is slip-resistant and low maintenance.

Features and Benefits:

  • The rubber sole is flexible.
  • The lining of the shoe is fabricated from Aegis antimicrobial solution which keeps the shoe from smelling bad.
  • The pigskin lining and an Ortholite footbed make this slip-on great for everyday wear.
  • There is an air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock which gives great stability to the feet.
  • The insoles are removable for convenience.
  • The compression-molded EVA footframe delivers ample cushioning.
  • The mesh lining adds breathability.

What We Like:

  • The fit is true to size.
  • These versatile shoes go with everything.
  • The traction is great.
  • They are very comfortable.

What We Don’t:

  • They are a bit too warm for summer.
  • The shoes are not water-resistant.

2. Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe, Black, 44 M EU

This shoe has proven very popular with chefs, but can also work with people working in hospitals. (As Gordon Ramsay would say “This pork is so raw a talented doctor could save it!”) It is a full heel clog that is comfortable, supportive, and durable. They are easy to take off, but unlike most shoes, there will be no hurry to do so.

Features and Benefits:

  • The synthetic polyurethane outsole is treaded and has a raised heel section for good traction and lightweight.
  • The microfiber insole is cool, comfortable, soft, and keeps its shape.
  • The anatomically shaped polyurethane sole is removable for convenience and lined with fabric for better comfort.
  • The shoes are dishwasher safe, making them very easy to clean.

What We Like:

  • The design is sleek and simple.
  • The shoes are non-slip.
  • The shoes are water-resistant yet breathable.
  • The polyurethane makes a shoe light, comfortable, and easy to clean.

What We Don’t:

  • They run a bit on the large side.
  • There is a bit of a break-in period.

3. CALZURO Autoclavable Clog Without Upper Ventilation

CALZURO Black Without Upper Ventilation Holes - 39/40 US Women's 9.5-10.0 /.

How’d you like to wear some fancy Italian shoes to work? The Calzuro isn’t what most people have in mind when they think of Italian shoes but they were made there. The thirteen colorways are all neon toned, but that’s to be expected for a shoe made entirely from rubber.

Features and Benefits:

  • The outer sole is etched with a slip-resistant wave pattern so that the user can be stable on any floor.
  • Because the shoes are entirely rubber, they are easy to clean, warm, and durable.
  • The inner soles are made with dots that are good for lowering leg fatigue and helping blood cells to flow smoothly.
  • The rubber is easy to wash manually and safe to put in the washing machine.

What We Like:

  • The five-inch heel is good for reducing fatigue.
  • The shoes are latex-free.
  • This is an antistatic pair of clogs.
  • They are easy to clean.

What We Don’t:

  • This might not be a good choice for wide feet.
  • They do not have much room for ventilation.

4. Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Work Shoe

Crocs On The Clock Work Medical Professional Shoe, black, 12 US Women / 10 US Men

Here’s another shoe that is a favorite among chefs but just as popular among those in the medical profession. It is a very high quality considering the price. It only comes in black or white but if you are trying to work up a professional look these may be the only colors you need. Super comfortable and easy to clean, these Crocs are the choice for many medical professionals.

Features and Benefits:

  • These clogs are fully molded and simple to clean with just soap and water and can be dried just as easily.
  • The enclosed toe and heel will conform to most workplace standards as they will guard your feet from spills.
  • These slip-resistant clogs are built with a tapered fit towards the back for a secure and relaxed fit.
  • The slip-resistant treads make them great for someone at risk for trips and falls.
  • The Croslite foam and deeply cushioned footbeds provide comfort that is great for people who work long shifts.

What We Like:

  • These shoes are very comfortable.
  • They are durable.
  • The shoes are slip-resistant.
  • They have a professional look to them.

What We Don’t:

  • These shoes do not have a lot in the way of ventilation.
  • The fit may be considered a bit too roomy.

5. Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clog

Dansko Women's XP 2.0 Black Waterproof Pull-up Leather Clogs 4.5-5 M US

This shoe has been a topic of debate. Some find that they are comfortable some people find them uncomfortable and heavy. A few others comment that they are a little on the pricey side. It also has a slimmer profile than the original Pro XP, which people with wide feet may not like but people with slender feet might. Perhaps this is right for you and perhaps not. Only you can be sure.

Features and Benefits:

  • The rubber sole is flexible and grippy, making it both safe and comfortable to wear.
  • The padded instep collar provides additional comfort when walking.
  • The spacious toe box allows the toes to move comfortably making it easier to walk.
  • The lightweight EVA midsole lowers fatigue felt with frequent wear and delivers not only stability but a high rate of shock absorption.
  • The footbed is removable so that an orthotic can be used.
  • The TPU arch stabilizer delivers superlative, long-lasting support.
  • The memory foam supplies extra cushioning to make the shoes very comfortable.

What We Like:

  • The structure is of high quality.
  • The footbed is removable and so can be worn with an orthotic.
  • The memory foam makes the shoes very comfortable.
  • The outsole is slip-resistant.
  • The stability of these shoes reduces pronation.

What We Don’t:

  • The loose fit takes some getting used to.
  • There have been some issues about not being colorfast.

Why Do Surgeons Wear Clogs?

Clogs are specially engineered for doctors and nurses who stand for long periods. Clogs support posture which is good for the back. They are ergonomically designed to get the job done. They are easy to clean. (Though most doctors keep a spare in their locker just in case.) They are also durable and long-lasting.

Should You Wear Compression Socks If You Stand All Day?

It is a good idea. Depending on your requirements, you might want to consider wearing them the whole day long or perhaps just for a few hours at a time. However, you should remember to take them off before going to bed. When you put the compression socks on, they should lay smoothly against your skin. They should feel snug but not painfully so.

How Can You Make Standing All Day Easier?

First and foremost, you should wear good shoes for standing all day. The sole should be wider than the heel and it should have ample cushioning. Also, it must be the correct size. Remember to practice good posture. Do some movements at work such as weight shifting, knee bends, and rocking on feet.

What Helps Sore Feet From Standing All Day?

A good old-fashioned foot bath may do the trick. Epsom salts or baking soda can bring down the swelling. There are also stretching and strengthening exercises you can do to help your feet relax. You can also use a foot massager for added comfort. Perhaps your shoes need arch supports, or perhaps you need new shoes altogether.

An ice pack, while you rest with your feet elevated, may help. If you think you need medicine, there are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and topical medication to relieve the pain. Night splints may help by keeping your feet in a locked position overnight.

If you feel tingling or numbness, have flu-like symptoms, have an open wound or swelling that won’t heal or you suspect a broken bone you may have to go see a podiatrist to determine what should be done.

What Do Medical Students Do During Rotations?

Clinical rotations make up the last couple of years of medical education. During rotations students closely follow physicians and residents in teaching hospitals, have access to patients, and learn through valued hands-on experience. They learn from the physicians and the students work alongside residents to solve difficult medical problems.

What Is Surgery Rotation Like?

A med student on surgery rotation will be doing patient rounds, working in the OR, and generally being on call. Surgeons will make rounds with the patients first thing in the morning before surgeries on the schedule.

(Surgeons prefer to do operations at practically the crack of dawn because patients tend to have fewer complications with anesthesia at this time.) The student’s supervising resident will very likely assign them a number of patients to follow.

How Do You Prepare For Surgery Rotation?

Start by boning up on the material. Get your Pestana’s Notes, Surgical Recall, and medical text and read them. Have some questions ready. Make sure you have all the supplies you need for changing dressings.

Remember that schedules here are fairly rigid so it is imperative that you are always on time. In fact, try to be a little early. Get to know the patients. Talk to them and talk to their nurses. Keep in mind that you don’t have quite that many patients tend to so you can afford to be attentive.

Be assertive but polite. You are encouraged to ask for more tasks and learning opportunities. Keep in mind that in the OR you are expected to quietly observe. Treat everyone from the janitor to the chief physician with courtesy and respect.

How Do You Survive Surgery Rotation?

Even if you have to be up with the chickens, find some time to have something for breakfast. Fruit or peanut butter on toast are quick and healthy choices. Coffee is going to your best friend. Dress to suit the dress code.

This is usually simple and comfortable, perhaps scrubs. Always be on hand when you are needed and always look for something new to learn. Be prepared if your patient has an unusual request.

For example, some cultures may forbid a patient from eating certain foods or to be facing a certain direction at a certain time of day. Always be happy to help in any case. Also, keep in mind that you are a reflection on your teaching resident. If you mess up, your teaching resident is going to look bad.


The skills needed for a medical career cannot all be learned in a classroom. The only way to learn how to interact with patients is to actually interact with them. It’s one thing to read about how to suture up a wound and another to physically stitch flesh together.

The sooner scrubbing becomes second nature, the better. Ethics become easier to follow when they are more than simple academic philosophy. It’s one thing to look at painted organs on transparent pages in an anatomy primer and another to look at an actual beating heart.

The best way to learn responsibility is to be given responsibility. Surgery rotation can provide all of this. It is the dues one must pay before taking on a career in the medical field.


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